Aren’t there times when you see a Hollywood flick and get wooed by the technology they show on-screen? Remember Minority Report? With a few simple swipes or gestures in thin air and you can control your TV or computer. Did you ever think that such a technological miracle would come to India? Seems unreal isn’t it? Not anymore.
Three undergraduates from IIT Kharagpur – Abhishek Sharma, Harshit Shrivastava and Vivek Kumar have come up with a device called Nimble, a tiny and flexible ring, that can magically transform the empty space in front of your screen into a highly accurate interactive space.
All you need to do is to plug in a USB sensor into the computer, put on a Nimble ring and let it work it’s magic. The product comes with three nimble rings, a USB sensor and the software.
The trio behind Nimble noticed that the present day gaming solutions were not very immersive or natural. Rather they were bulky, inaccurate or had a lot of lag. One ended up memorising dozens of keys or using a boring old mouse. They wanted to make the gaming experience much more than that. This made them come up with the idea of working on Nimble.
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“The idea of controlling things using simple finger gestures was also fascinating” says Abhishek.
Intugine, the company behind Nimble was founded in September 2013. After researching on a lot on topics like computer vision and gesture control for Nimble, the team received affirmative results. They found that a lot of people showed interest in their device. They started working on it’s business plan, won a couple of business plan competitions that helped them in bootstrapping after dropping out of college.
Initially, the business model was to sell Nimble as a gaming accessory. But soon they realised that it could be more than just an accessory and a new platform because of the innovation in the way of interaction of humans and machines.
So they are now planning to build a totally new user interface for Nimble since the present-day mouse and keyboard interface is not developed for gesture control. This would also help them in building an application store with applications built specifically for gesture control and Nimble. Also, they consider some b2b deals in the field of Home Automation, Virtual Reality, Smart TVs and many more.
Currently, Nimble is up for pre-order for INR 3500 with almost 150 pre-order requests from across the globe. With the market size being very dynamic right now coupled with a lot of new possibilities for gesture control, Nimble is sure to make a mark. If one is to go by statistics, then the market size is expected to reach $22 Bn by 2020.
When asked about their goals, Abhishek quoted that their short term goal is to do a successful Indiegogo campaign to gain respectable developer traction through it. He further added that he and his team wants Nimble to evolve as a platform and not just as a gaming device so that developers can up come with new applications for the consumers on a regular basis. Their immediate target is to put Nimble into production and deliver around 2500 developer units.
Taking a different route from all the other companies that want capital for recruitments, hiring, marketing and other functions, Intugine thinks that their future investors should help them in building a distribution channel across the globe and help them in engaging more and more application developers with Nimble.
“Convincing our parents to take a year break from IIT was one of the main challenge we faced” says Abhishek. However, they also faced challenges with respect to hardware availability. Many a times, they couldn’t find the required equipments in India so they had to import some hardware from China.
“Indian startup ecosystem is not yet hardware friendly or mature like it is in the Valley”
Battling it out with its competitors like Leap Motion, Kinect, RHL Vision, LogBar, the company believes that it stands out from the rest. Nimble gives its user the freedom to interact from distance of about 15 ft without compromising much on the accuracy and latency whereas Leap only provides a range of 1.5-2 ft.
For Intugine, it’s all about making a difference in human lives.
“We want to give endless possibilities to people and make technology adaptable to humans and not vice-versa”